Wisconsin’s presence at Institute of Food Technologists trade show in Chicago puts a spotlight on state’s leading role throughout the sector
Madison, WI -- More than 40 Wisconsin food and beverage companies and related organizations will showcase the state’s strength in the sector at IFT15, the international food industry expo taking place July 11-14 in Chicago.
Wisconsin’s food and beverage sector is responsible for $88 billion in economic activity and more than 89,000 jobs—a 58 percent greater employment concentration in this sector than the national average. The state ranks first in the nation in the production of a variety of foods, including cheese, cranberries, ginseng and snap peas. It ranks in the top five in the U.S. in the production of carrots, milk, potatoes, peas, oats, sweet corn, maple syrup and tart cherries.
Wisconsin companies and organizations will be showcased in an exhibit coordinated by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), along with partners, including FaB Wisconsin, Madison Regional Economic Partnership, New Composite Partners, the New North, University of Wisconsin (UW) Madison Meat Sciences & Extension, UW-Madison Food Research Institute, UW-Madison Center for Dairy Research, UW-Stout Discovery Center, UW-River Falls Food Science, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The exhibit can be found at booth 4956 on the trade show floor.
The partners also will provide support for about three dozen Wisconsin companies exhibiting at the show by facilitating connections with buyers, supply chain members or other service providers that can help the companies grow. The exhibit will illustrate the true breadth and depth of Wisconsin’s food and beverage sector, with sections of the booth highlighting the meat industry; dairy industry; ingredients and additives; organic, non-GMO, grass-fed and gluten-free foods; supply chain and food safety services; farm, factory, fork and export; fruit or vegetable processing and co-packing; and research, product and talent development.
Part of the Wisconsin exhibit is a “meat showcase” that will show how a Johnsonville beef sausage product is made entirely with Wisconsin products and services. Johnsonville is a Wisconsin company, based in Sheboygan Falls, but its products’ Wisconsin provenance goes much deeper. From start to finish, every step of production takes place in Wisconsin: research and product development at UW-Madison, beef from American Foods Group in Green Bay, flavoring from Red Arrow in Manitowoc, equipment from MEPACO in Beaver Dam, processing by Salm Partners in Denmark, and packaging by Bemis in Oshkosh.
“The food and beverage sector in Wisconsin is a key component of our state economy,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “Wisconsin is well known across the globe for its excellence in production of milk, cheese, grains and cranberries. At IFT15, we are showcasing not only these products, but also other parts of the sector where the state also excels.”
“Feeding our own and feeding the world is in our DNA. The breadth of companies and organizations coming together under a banner of food and beverage In Wisconsin showcases to the world our remarkable industry strength and resources,” said Shelley Jurewicz, executive director of FaB Wisconsin, a statewide industry cluster consortium. “Wisconsin offers easy access to a connected industry cluster. Our message is simply, ‘Look at what we have here, use us, join us.’”
The 75th annual IFT expo is expected to bring together more than 20,000 food science professionals from around the globe to see, touch, taste and experience the industry’s largest collection of ingredients, equipment, processing and packaging suppliers under one roof.
About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. WEDC nurtures business growth and job creation by providing resources, technical support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation and international business development. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.